Four Vikings finish in top four at districts to earn regional berths
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Four wrestlers from Grayling High School placed high enough at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Individual District 17-3 tournament – an event hosted by the Vikings at GHS on Saturday – to qualify for regionals. The regional tournaments determine state qualifiers.
“Tough day for us today. We wanted to get six to eight guys to regionals. We had a shot at it; we just didn’t get the job done,” Coach Andy Moore said.
Tyler Withers finished 2nd in the 189-pound weight class, earning a spot at regionals. Withers won by pin vs. a Hart opponent to earn a spot in the finals. He lost in the finals vs. Whitehall and placed 2nd. Withers, a senior, has a 36-12 overall record going into regionals.
“Tyler Withers surprised a lot of people in the semifinals. He upset the kid from Hart that had been ranked at 215 all season. Great day for Tyler,” Coach Moore said.
Reece Ferrigan, a senior, took 2nd place in the 215-pound weight class. There were only seven competitors at 215, so Ferrigan did not have to wrestle until the semifinals. In his first match of the day, he pinned an opponent from Whitehall. In the finals, Ferrigan lost vs. Gladstone; it was only his second loss of the 2018 season. Ferrigan goes into individual regionals with a record of 40-2 for this season.
“Reece Ferrigan had a solid day today, losing a tough match in the finals. Reece had beaten the Gladstone kid twice in the last couple weeks. It’s tough to beat a good wrestler three teams in a season. I think Reece gets him next week at regionals,” Coach Moore said.
Thomas May earned a regionals berth with a 2nd place finish on Saturday. May won a 12-4 decision vs. Shelby in his first match at districts. He pinned an opponent from Whitehall to earn a spot in the finals. May lost to a wrestler from Hart in the finals and took 2nd. May, a freshman, now has an overall record of 32-11 this year.
“Thomas May is probably wrestling the best he has all season. He upset a state placer from last year in the semifinals. He has a good shot at qualifying for the state finals,” Coach Moore said.
Max Halstead took 3rd place during Saturday’s district tournament and qualified for regionals. He started his day with a 9-4 win by decision vs. Hart. He lost to a different Hart wrestler in the semifinals. Halstead won a 5-4 decision vs. Montague to secure a spot at regionals. In the battle for 3rd/4th place, Halstead won a 14-5 decision vs. the Hart opponent that he had defeated earlier in the day. Halstead, a sophomore who missed several meets due to injury this year, has an overall record of 17-6 going into regionals.
“Max Halstead had a good day of wrestling. He bounced back from a tough semifinals loss to take third. It’s nice to see Max wrestle at the level he is wrestling after missing most of the season with an injury,” Coach Moore said.
The four Vikings who made it through districts will compete in the Region 9-3 tournament at Kalkaska High School on Saturday, Feb. 17.
“The postseason is always tough emotionally. Today we saw two seniors wrestle for the last time. Andrew Hopkins and Cole Hibbard have been a big part of our team for the last four years. Andrew has been a two-year captain and finished his career with 133 wins. Cole was captain this year and finished with 115 wins. These two will be missed,” Coach Moore said.